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Sample ISAW Press Release



International Turn Out the Lights Campaign Shines A Spotlight on Irlen Syndrome

Global Event Planned for October 17, 2017

Long Beach, CA (July 5, 2017) – Advocates for Irlen Syndrome everywhere are getting ready to turn out their lights in a united front to help raise awareness of the perceptual processing problem affecting approximately 15% of the general population. Part of a week-long, international awareness campaign, the international “Turn Out the Lights” event will take place on Tuesday, October 17 at 10a.m. local time, and asks supporters everywhere to turn out their fluorescent lights for one minute in support of Irlen Syndrome sufferers. Participants can check in on the world BLACK OUT map on the Irlen Institute website to join the event and let us know they went dark in support of Irlen Syndrome! Last year’s one-minute event drew participation from thousands of people in 103 countries around the world, nearly doubling participation from the previous year.

Irlen Syndrome impacts the brain’s inability to process visual information, affecting daily functioning. Individuals of all ages and ethnicities may experience Syndrome symptoms, which include light sensitivity, headaches or migraines, difficulty or discomfort when reading, eye-strain, and distorted print text or environment.

Irlen Syndrome affects huge sectors of the population, but is not yet identified by standard educational or medical tests. The Awareness Week will draw attention to staggering numbers: 46% of individuals with reading and learning difficulties, 30% of people with ADHD and autism, and approximately 15% of the general population struggle with Irlen Syndrome. Unfortunately, most of these sufferers remain unaware of the true source of their problems. Irlen Syndrome has also been linked to brain injury, chronic headaches and migraines.

The Institute’s Founder Helen Irlen says, “Irlen Syndrome is more common than heart disease or asthma, and affects daily quality of life in serious ways. By increasing awareness, we hope to move away from costly misdiagnoses and help sufferers access readily available solutions.”

Failure to identify and treat Irlen Syndrome can have severe consequences, ranging from academic and workplace failure or ongoing physical and emotional symptoms, to increased likelihood to enter the criminal justice system. International Irlen Syndrome Awareness Week highlights the importance and ease of correctly identifying and treating Irlen Syndrome.


The Irlen® Institute works in cooperation with nonprofits and other organizations in the United States and around the world to facilitate prompt diagnosis, treatment and care of individuals with Irlen Syndrome. Partners include the Irlen Syndrome Foundation and The Semper Fi Fund. A full list of affiliated organizations may be found on the Irlen® website.


The Irlen® Institute is dedicated to identifying and helping individuals suffering from visual processing disorder, or Irlen Syndrome. Irlen® offers a range of research-supported solutions for sufferers, using proprietary color technology to immediately correct visual perception. Helen Irlen and the Irlen® Method have been featured in 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, BBC, ABC Worldwide News with Peter Jennings, NBC News, National Geographic and numerous TV shows around the world. Today, more than 170 Irlen®-affiliated clinics and thousands of certified screeners are available to identify Irlen Syndrome worldwide. For more information about the Irlen® Institute and International Irlen Syndrome Awareness Week or to find the practitioner nearest you, please visit


Sandra Tosta, PhD